SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Some California communities want to rely less on water piped in from distant sources and tap their own supplies instead.
California is in its third dry year. The historic drought has affected farmland, dried up reservoirs and forced some rural communities to ration water.
The Southern California beach city of Santa Monica wants to be water independent by 2020. In recent years, it has increased its groundwater by cleaning up years of contamination. The city also uses a mix of rain harvesting, water recycling and conservation incentives to boost its local supplies.
Experts agree that tapping groundwater is key to cutting down on imported water, but they say it's not something every community can afford. The groundwater quality is so degraded in some places that it's too expensive to fix.